Thursday, April 19, 2007

Am I Getting Too Foamy?

I've noticed that I've been getting more foamy than usual over the past few months. I've felt obligated to try to turn around a lot of the language that woos use to label us, so in more and more comments, I describe how limiting, closed, and nihilistic anti-science sentiments look to me, often with at least a blurb about how I came to that conclusion.

Used to, when some troll woo made a purely ad hominem post, I'd mockingly point out how off-topic they were, since ad hominems are a category of red herring. Now I tend to show how they're actually describing their own woo views, describing it as projection.

So, do I need to turn down my foam a little?


Infophile said...

It's hard to say; I'm not the best when it comes to dealing with the humans. Accusing them of projecting might antagonize them a bit much, but so might mocking them for straying off-topic. I suspect that varying it up a bit would help; otherwise some woo will accuse you of just giving cookie-cutter responses.

Besides, if you start foaming too much, how are we supposed to be able to tell the difference between you and Ryan?

Anonymous said...

Oh, HELL no. Mind you, I DID like the pointing out of the off-topicness also - Any chance we could go for a bit-of-both-worlds approach?

Tom Foss said...

I've noticed a bit of a change, and I think I kind of know what's happened.

See, if one goes back to a few months ago, when we were all in it with Cocksnack, your particular rebuttals to and characterizations of him became so refined that you could hit up half a dozen of them in a single comment. But, when Cocksnack faded away, you continued to use some of those particular rebuttals with other woos. Now, for someone like me, who frequents the same sites and rebuts the same woos, I know all your reasons behind calling woos all those things. But the woos might not, and others who haven't seen the Bronze Dog oeuvre might not either.

Now, I don't necessarily think you've been overly harsh with anyone, more that you've been arguing with Cocksnack even when he's not around, so to speak. I think a little foam is necessary once in awhile, but maybe not every woo deserves the Yamil Luciano special.

I think the solution, hard though it may be, is to approach every comment like it's the first one. If you're going to make a claim in a response, make sure you include all your reasons for that claim in there too (or at least link to them). Naturally, if you've gone eight comments with the same wooster, you don't necessarily need to keep rehashing the definition of Occam's Razor, but when you're entering into a new conversation, make sure you bring all the explicit reasoning with you.

And now you know why my comments are always so long :).

Bronze Dog said...

Another thing I think is contributing: The woos I've been seeing lately aren't interested in actually discussing anything: They're only interested in bashing skeptics, scientists, and thinkers.

Ryan Michael said...

I actually quit blogging for a long time because I got sick of the same woos spouting the same crap all the time.

And because I borrowed heavily from Bob Carroll's writing style I usually only attract the millitant woos.

But I always treat them fairly if they come to make a claim or state a position. I drop my genteel manners when fallacies are repeated and doggerel is used though.

Rev. BigDumbChimp said...

I'm not sure I've heard it described as foamy before....But if it's appropriate then foam on brother.

Bronze Dog said...

It's a personal meme.

Mad dog. Foamin' at the mouth at doggerel users. It's part of the canine motif.

Rev. BigDumbChimp said...

got it

Foamy it is.